In episode 401, Marta Rivera Diaz teaches us how to be an authentic ally as a content creator, helping underserved individuals in thoughtful and genuine ways.

We cover information about how to look beyond yourself when considering inclusivity and diversity, be considerate of all people online, be careful not to limit creator’s content based on their race and gender, and consider including recipe hacks and tips to make it easier/affordable for underserved populations and those with impairments.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Bio Marta Rivera Diaz is a formally trained chef with more than 25 years of cooking and baking experience and is the chef and author behind Sense & Edibility®, her “online culinary school.” Marta created Sense & Edibility® to encourage advanced and novice cooks alike, to explore- and succeed at executing- culinary fundamentals, techniques, and cuisines never before explained or introduced to them. As a bi-racial woman, who grew up and married into the military, and one who lives with a disability, Marta is a staunch advocate for under-served communities, especially in the food space.


  • The discussion of being an ally starts with taking stock of Intersectionality – a holistic review of a situation. Men v women v people of color v people with color with disabilities, people with children of disabilities or who are caretakers of parents, etc.
  • Self-reflect and acknowledge you want to be an ally. Listen to people’s stories and be willing to learn.
  • Allies need to be willing to do their own homework to be more knowledgeable without leaning on others to do it for them.
  • You can’t learn without asking questions.
  • Be aware of food from other cultures that you might be writing about.
  • Find that thing that you can relate to in another person’s life and use that as a common factor to lean in on bridge you together.
  • Serving others and being considerate opens up our awareness of how to help people and be empathetic both with peers and with our audiences.
  • As a content creator, be aware you are here to serve people.
  • There are people who visit your blog who would really benefit from recipe hacks, shortcuts, tips, and ways to make it easier for them and their families.
  • Alt text, captions, and shortcuts are simple ways to write a recipe that serve your audience well so make it exciting.
  • Be inclusive and offer a seat at the table to people of all genders, abilities, and colors.



Click for full script.

EBT401 – Marta Rivera Diaz

Intro: Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate their blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.

I’m Megan Porta, and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Get ready because this is a really good episode that I feel like every food blogger should listen to. Marta Rivera Diaz from Sense and Edibility come to the table with a really important topic that I feel we don’t talk about enough, and that is how to be an authentic ally as a content creator. We talk about how there are so many underserved individuals that need to feel like they deserve a spot at your table, and there are ways that we can make them feel valued and appreciated and important, in really small ways that we don’t necessarily even think about. Even if you feel a little bit uncomfortable about this topic or talking about it or listening to people talk about it. I invite you to come in and just listen to the whole thing from start to finish. I promise that you will be glad that you did. This is episode number 401, and it is sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five-star rating. If you love this podcast and leave a great review, this will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now on to the episode. 

Megan Porta: Marta Rivera Diaz is a formerly trained chef with more than 25 years of cooking and baking experience, and she is the chef and author behind Sense and Edibility, her online culinary school. Marta created her blog to encourage advanced and novice cooks alike to explore and succeed at executing culinary fundamentals, techniques, and cuisines never before explained or introduced to them. As a biracial woman who grew up and married into the military and one who lives with a disability, Marta is a staunch advocate for underserved communities, especially in the food space.

Hello, Marta. Thank you so much for joining me on Eat Blog Talk. How are you today? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Hi Megan. I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to talk to you today. 

Megan Porta: Same. This is such an important topic to talk about, so I’m excited too. Before we get into it though, do you have a fun fact to share with us?

Marta Rivera Diaz: So my fun fact is about myself. I’m actually a carpenter. 

Megan Porta: Oh!

Marta Rivera Diaz: I build furniture in my spare time. It’s a fun fact because every time somebody comes to the house and sees a piece that I’ve built, they’re like, where’d you get that? I’m like, I made it. And so they’re shocked that, I guess a lot of my friends think I’m super girly, but I love working with my hands. So that’s my fun fact, is that I’m actually a furniture building carpenter. But it’s also because I’m cheap too. I don’t like paying for stuff that I know I can build. 

Megan Porta: But do you find that activity when you’re doing it, it fulfills that creative space?

Marta Rivera Diaz: Yes. When I’m doing it right. You know how they say creatives are sometimes all over the place? I’m very much like that in most aspects of my creativity. So I have to return to the lumber store frequently because I messed up cuts or I don’t plan correctly. So sometimes it’s frustrating. But when you get that reaction from people that see your build… 

Megan Porta: oh heck yes. That’s impressive.

Marta Rivera Diaz: It’s kind of, it’s a flex. 

Megan Porta: So what is your favorite thing to make? What type of furniture? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I like just building things like sideboards or tables or benches, it’s not that hard to do, it’s not that hard to do. They’re straight lines, they’re free cuts most of the time. But I do want to get into doing things like couches or upholstered furniture, but I think that’s a little bit beyond my wheelhouse, I think. I might try it in the future. 

Megan Porta: Do you have pictures you can share? I would love to put some of them in the show notes. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I do. Yeah. 

Megan Porta: That would be fun. Send me an email with a few and we’ll put them out. That would be awesome. Cool. I love knowing that about you, and I love the topic that you’re bringing to the table today. It’s something that we don’t talk about enough, and that is just how to be an authentic ally to people who need it. To everyone really, and to be more inclusive. So let’s just have you start off by sharing about your journey, where you have gone in your entrepreneurial journey and where you’re at today. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: So I’m actually a lifelong military family member. Another fun fact about me is that I’ve been a military brat since conception. Both of my parents were in the Air Force. They were both on active duty during the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. So I grew up in a military family. I swore I would never marry into the military knowing that lifestyle and a month after I graduated from culinary school in Baltimore, I married a soldier. So never say never. That was my lesson there. Proceeded to follow him around the world for 20 years while he was in the army. I grew up because both of my parents were on active duty, I grew up with chores like kids do, but my chore was cooking for our family of five, and that started at a very young age. A lot of people don’t realize that the military is actually sometimes considered the working poor, just because based on the amount of work that they do and what they’re required to do, and the time that they’re required to devote to their military service, they don’t get compensated nearly enough for what they’re doing. So my family was no exception. There were very lean times where I had to put together a meal for all of us with very limited resources. Unlike a lot of culinary professionals, I didn’t grow up with that love of food where you’re standing next to your mom or your grandma in the kitchen and you cooking recipes from scratch with her. I don’t have that memory. My memory has always been one of food insecurity. So that’s how I grew up, is piecemealing meals for a family of five at the age of 10. Trying to figure out how to make it work and that ability, I found that I was very proficient in the kitchen and I was able to move around very well, even at a young age, which led to my foray into culinary arts.

So I went on to attend a vocational technical high school, which is. Basically, a high school that teaches trades. I graduated from their culinary program and went on to culinary school in Baltimore. That’s where I met the guy that I said I would never, ever marry. We got married and about a year after we were married, we moved to Germany. It was a struggle as a military spouse to find employment and that is career irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what your career is. As a military spouse, finding gainful employment is one of the biggest issues that we face. Because no one wants to hire someone who they know is going to leave in two or three years. So especially when you’re a chef. They’re looking at you when you go to interview and they’re saying, I’m not going to invest this much time in someone teaching them our recipes, teaching them the way we do things in the kitchen for you to leave in three years. Finding a job in my career field was next to impossible. So I created my career field and I started being the go-to person on base for big event cakes or catering jobs or things like that. That was a job that I can move with me all the times that we moved. My last move to our home here after my husband retired was my 23rd move in my life.

Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. Wow. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I have moved a lot. 

Megan Porta: That was a lot. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: But being a caterer and running a cottage food business, which is what I was doing was a way that I could pursue my passion and still not become resentful because I was supporting my husband’s career, but my career was in limbo. That quickly transitioned to in December of actually Christmas Eve of 2010, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a nonruptured brain aneurysm. 

Megan Porta: Wow. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: As the fourth of five people in my family who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At the time I was my mom’s full-time caregiver who was dying of multiple sclerosis. I know what multiple sclerosis does and I know how it affects the body. Some of the first things to go are the use of your arms and legs. As a chef, I kind of need those. Do you know what I mean? I was looking at my life and I’ve supported my husband’s army career. I’ve homeschooled my kids. Because I started homeschooling my kids when they were three and it was just like, I’ve given so much to everybody else. I was again, a caretaker to my mom and I don’t have a legacy of my own or something that is my own that I’m really proud of. 

So that inspired me to self-publish my cookbook. I look at it now, my cookbook and I was really proud of it back then, but now I look at it and I see how much I’ve grown and I’m oh, that was that’s like my ugly baby. I love that I did it, but I’m glad it’s out of print now. Let’s just say that. But that segued into my writing online because a lot of people that read the cookbook were like you’re like the Irma Bombeck of food writing because you’re funny and you write these anecdotes and you need to put this in a blog. I didn’t know what a blog was because I really never read blogs. This all transitioned into me starting Sense and Edibility. What I wanted to do was teach people to love cooking or to at least feel comfortable enough in the kitchen not to freak out when they got in the kitchen. That led to where I’m at now, which is still running Sense and Edibility. Now my husband’s retired, so we’re stable. My twins are in college, and it’s just like my time now.

Megan Porta: Aw, what a great story, and wow. Yeah. So much transitioning and moving throughout your life, and it’s fun to hear how that’s played out in parallel with your blog and the work that you do now. So you really believe we have to be advocates for the underserved. I guess I would just like to start by asking, how would you define that? How would you define underserved? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: There’s a term called intersectionality that’s become a buzzword in recent years, especially since 2020. It was a term coined by Kimberly Crenshaw back in the late eighties. Intersectionality just basically looks at a person’s holistic situation, right? So I am a black Puerto Rican woman who has, I put this in quotes, a disability or an impairment, and I am a military spouse. So when you look at all of those things and you take all those things into consideration, and then you add to the fact that I’ve decided to pursue a career in a very male-dominated profession, it’s difficult for me to find the equality or the representation that so many of my male white counterparts or even my female white counterparts can experience. So for me when I discuss, especially as a content creator, when I discuss equality or diversity or inclusion, I’m trying to encourage people to look beyond. Look beyond your situation as a woman food content creator, who we all know, if you’ve been in this business for any length of time, you know that the majority of content creators are women. Oftentimes we get into a mode where we’re like we’re women and we don’t get treated fairly as male food bloggers do. Then you have to look at the women of color who are also food bloggers that are definitely not treated the same as white women food bloggers. But then you also have to look at the women of color who have disabilities and are not treated as well. So for me, it’s this domino effect that I’m always looking at because I can relate to most of these intersectionality issues that a lot of people don’t realize even exist because they’re only affected by one or two types of discrimination if they’re affected by any at all. 

Megan Porta: There are so many layers there. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: So many. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. So how do we become allies with people? Because I think it’s really important that we do that, that we recognize that this is a thing. It’s a real thing. I think a lot of us want to be allies, but we really don’t know how to do that. So what can we do? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: So I think the first thing, when it comes to learning how to be an authentic ally is to stop and take stock of yourself. These discussions sometimes hurt feelings, and I think a lot of times we get wrapped up in the, but that’s not what I intended, or that’s not who I am, or I’m not like that. It’s not necessarily about attacking somebody and saying, you are a racist or you don’t care about, people outside of who you are or who you can relate to. I think being a true authentic ally means sitting down and learning people’s stories. A lot of time we lump people into these categories. These are things that I’ve heard personally. You’re an aggressive black person because you take offense to everything and that’s not what I meant to say. If you have someone in your life or you are having an interaction, whether it’s on social media or whether it’s with one of your commenters on your blog, or a fellow food content creator is telling you, this is problematic what you’re saying, it’s time to stop. Take a step back and say, okay, I’m not being attacked for who I am, but my words are hurting someone. So as an ally, do I wanna continue to hurt people or do I want to continue to hurt this particular person or this group of people? Or do I wanna be a better person? Do I wanna be better about this? Hear people. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the feelings of it all, right? We would be lying if we said feelings don’t matter, and it doesn’t really hurt that bad when somebody tells you you’re offensive. But it’s a lot. You get offended when you feel like you’ve offended people. But, I feel like it’s so important if you truly want to be an ally. That is something that needs to be acknowledged and it needs to be put at the forefront. If you truly want to be an ally, because some people say, okay, I wanna be an ally, but not really. I want to be an ally on my terms. But if you truly want to be an ally, that requires you sitting down with someone whose story you may not have heard, listening to them, and not trying to rationalize or justify or reconcile their experience, by saying, oh maybe they didn’t mean to be racist. Or maybe they didn’t mean to use that microaggression toward you. Or maybe you’re just being overly sensitive. Because these are all things that we have heard before. I know for a fact that I’ve heard this before. I am dismissed as a person. Not my experience is dismissed, but as a person, I’m dismissed. Because again, we can’t separate the emotion from the person, right?

So if I’m being made to feel as if the only content that I’m good enough to create is Puerto Rican food or black soul food, then you’re dismissing the years of study that I’ve done. The years of classical European cooking that I’ve studied, because you’re assuming that I’m just a black Puerto Rican woman who can only cook ethnic food. Being a true ally for me means sitting down and truly listening to an individual story and not listening to respond, but listening to absorb and to learn.

Megan Porta: To understand. Wow, that’s powerful. I’m just thinking of all the times when emotion does creep in. So for me, it can be like, reading something on social media that’s wait, is that was, how was that meant? You can take things right the wrong way and get really emotional about them when you’re reading a comment on YouTube or TikTok or wherever. So actually taking the time to stop, invite that person into a conversation and just try to do nothing but understand, is what you’re saying. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Yeah, and I’m a huge fan of clarification. A lot of things, especially on social media, because you can’t read tone, you can’t read inflection, you can’t read any of that stuff on social media. Most of the people that follow me or know me, on social media know I’m sarcastic. It’s like my second language, sarcasm. When you know me, you can read it. When you don’t know me, you’re offended. Anytime somebody has said, that’s offensive, I address it. Because my intention is never to be offensive at the expense of, or never to be so sarcastic and funny and quote-unquote witty, which I swear I am, at the expense of someone’s feelings. Because I gain nothing from it. But a lot of times people are afraid to have that conversation. What do you mean by what you just said? I think that’s very important. Just recently, in fact, a reader of mine found a recipe. This is one of those recipes that I still wanna update because it’s the pictures are gruesome and the content is just horrible. But she came to me and told me I would really advise you or recommend that you change the title of this recipe because the word that is used in it is a derogatory term in South Africa for black people. It’s kafir lime leaves. So I’ve only known this fruit as kafir lime. She mentioned that to me. As I start to think about videos or documentaries or movies like Mandela that I’ve seen, I’ve heard that term used not necessarily knowing it was a racial slur. So she suggested, changing the name to Mac Root, which is the name of the fruit in Indonesia because it’s an Indonesian fruit. Automatically that post went from published to private because I’m going to completely revamp that recipe. I’m changing the name. I don’t care about the drop in traffic, I don’t care about any of that stuff. I would’ve done it despite hating the pictures, to begin with. Do you see what I’m saying?

Megan Porta: Yes, definitely. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I could have easily, at that moment, been like I didn’t mean it like that, and this is how they call it in this country. I could have gone all kinds of ways with it, but why? Why would I ever want anything on my piece of real estate online to be offensive to anyone? That’s a lesson that I pat myself on the back for it because I could have easily taken offense to it and made it about me. It’s not about me. It’s about a word that has been used for centuries probably, to degrade and to divide people in a country that I’ve never been through, but I don’t wanna be a part of that. 

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Megan Porta: I think it’s important to point out that you weren’t offended by it. You actually took it in and tried to understand it instead of just getting defensive. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Exactly.

Megan Porta: This wasn’t my fault. I didn’t intend it as you said. You sat and you listened and understood. Then you acted. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I think it’s important, it’s telling, I’m a New Yorker originally, so I shoot straight from the hip most of the time. But I think it’s telling when you do get offended when someone tells you something like that because it makes me wonder, where’s the offense coming from? Because I didn’t get offended by that because I knew my intention was never, when I created that recipe, I literally wrote the recipe based on what was written on the package of leaves that I was using. So I know that my intention was not ill. There was no ill intention meant in creating that recipe whatsoever. I didn’t find anything to be mad about or offended about. But I do notice that when people get up in arms and they’re like you should just be grateful that you have a place at the table, or you should just be grateful that black content creators are getting recognized now. It’s like, where does that come from? That’s something that you have to dig deep inside and ask yourself, why am I so offended that black content creators are asking for equality, or Latinx content creators or indigenous content creators are asking for the same thing that I’m getting? That’s some self-reflecting that you as an individual have to do, and that’s not something that anybody else has to own. 

Megan Porta: I so agree with that, and that was so beautifully said. I think this whole topic of just equality, in general, is something that a lot of people tiptoe around because they’re afraid. They’re afraid of it. They don’t want to say anything wrong. They don’t want to do anything wrong, so they just don’t say anything. So how do you feel that translates into your business? Do you think that we should be saying more about it? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I believe that number one, I believe that if you are not a person of color, there’s really no way for you to understand what people of color in this country, and I can’t speak for other countries, but what people in this country have experienced. So it’s difficult for people to really relate to the stories that we tell. It’s almost mind-boggling to a lot of people when I tell them some of my stories. Because they can’t wrap their mind around what happening to them. But there’s also a requirement, again, if we’re going to be authentic allies, there’s also a requirement for you to do homework, right? It becomes exhausting as a black woman, as a Puerto Rican woman to have to educate people on things that a quick Google search can inform you of. But beyond that, again, we go back to the story, the individual story. So you can Google basic history in the United States and find out a lot of the stuff that would, especially black content creators are talking about, is not a lie. Like it really happened. But then you have to sit down and speak with the person and you can’t get offended if they’re like, I’m exhausted. With the emotional labor that the last especially three years have put on us, I’m too exhausted to discuss this with you. You have to respect that because it is exhausting.

But if you do have the privilege of speaking with someone, I think it’s important to ask questions that you’re afraid to ask. Those questions that you think, if I say this out loud, somebody’s going to think I’m a racist. If you have somebody that is willing to sit down with you and have a conversation, no holds bar, and you have to be willing to say, okay. I’m going to give this example that I’ve lived through. Is it offensive for me to ask you to touch your hair? Granted, this is not about food, right? But this is something that I live my daily life dealing with. You have to ask that question. Is it offensive When I ask you if black people are stronger than white people? So that you can have these conversations and that person can educate you on microaggressions, they can educate you on things that are stereotypes or racial probes, and you can learn from that. You can’t learn from people without asking questions. You can’t. It’s impossible. You can read all the books you want to, but you’re sitting next to somebody who has lived that life and you don’t even bother to turn around or turn next to that person, or turn next to yourself and say, Hey, can you tell me about your experience? A lot of people don’t wanna hear about the experience. Because it makes them feel guilty. It makes them feel guilty because they’re like, oh I’ve said that before. Or I’ve thought that before, or I’ve done that before. In the realm of food content creation, colonizing recipes is huge. I use the word colonizing because as a Puerto Rican, I very well understand the concept of colonization. The island of Puerto Rico has been colonized its entire existence. Save for when the Taíno Indians, who are the indigenous people of Puerto Rico, inhabited the island. So when I see content creators, quote-unquote, creating recipes that have been around for centuries and saying, I’ve elevated this cuisine or this dish, or I’ve made this way yummier, or I’ve done X, Y, or Z to improve upon a recipe that is a cultural staple in my cuisine or other people’s cuisine, it is so extremely offensive. 

Megan Porta: Sure. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: That’s the time I’ve become that sarcastic person that I told you I was. I’m like, oh, you’re colonizing this recipe. Because a white person doesn’t need to come along and I won’t even limit it to white people, but anybody outside of that culture doesn’t come along and elevate anything. It didn’t need to be elevated. Obviously, it’s been eaten and enjoyed by this culture for centuries. You didn’t need to elevate anything. So even colonizing recipes is something that a lot of people don’t realize that they’re doing and how offensive it is when someone from Vietnam sees that their Pho recipe needed to be elevated by somebody.

Megan Porta: As content creators, we may not think of that until it’s pointed 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I also have a phrase that I say all the time, don’t yuck somebody’s yum. In Puerto Rico, we eat blood sausage. It’s something that reminds people of home; it reminds people of Christmas in Puerto Rico. The English eat blood sausage but people don’t have as quite a visceral reaction to that like they do when they hear that Puerto Ricans or Koreans eat blood sausage. It’s something that I always try to remind people, including my family members, where it’s just because you’ve never tried this, or it seems outside of your norm, doesn’t mean it’s disgusting. For you to say, oh, that sounds nasty to someone who, this is their cultural cuisine. This is something that their grandmother or great-grandmother probably knew for them and gave them some type of comfort, for you to say, oh, that’s disgusting, is offensive. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, and I feel like this conversation extends even beyond cultures and races. This can be underserved, I feel like can also be someone with a disability, like yourself living with a disability or maybe even having kids with disabilities or something along those lines. It doesn’t have to be just culture. Am I right? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: No, you’re totally right. This extends to brands as well. We talk a lot about content creators, but brands also, I look at campaigns and whenever I’m approached by a brand or somebody that wants me to work with them, I always ask or take a look at the lineup. Because they usually have a lineup of influencers that they’re asking to participate in said campaigns. If I can’t see it readily, I’ll ask, I want to know who’s working on this campaign. If I don’t see representation in the form of diversity as far as skin color is concerned, or abilities, other abilities are concerned, or even military personnel are severely underrepresented in this industry, as are LGBTQ content creators. So if I don’t see that representation, I say, do you need recommendations for content creators that fit these marks or that fit these criteria? If they say no, I’m pushing back and I’m like, yeah, you do. Because based on your lineup, you’re not representing well. It is true. We need to, when we’re writing, when we’re considering the content that we’re putting out, are we writing a recipe for people who may have arthritis? Who can’t open jars, who can’t mince garlic, who can’t flip saute pans? Are we considering them? Are we encouraging them to, hey, take help from the produce section by grabbing precut veggies so they don’t have to do it? Are we considering parents who are exhausted from taking care of a child with a disability? I hate saying the word disability; with an impairment. What about a caretaker to a spouse or a caretaker to a mom, like I was? Are we considering the fact that they’re exhausted? But they still need to eat and they still need to take care of themselves. Are we recommending to them, here’s how you can create a shortcut for this recipe that I really want you to try because you should be able to try it because it’s good. Do you know what I mean? Military personnel, again, some of the working poor. They’re not making a ton of money. How can we as content creators reach them? Granted, the military is like a whole secret squirrel society. If you don’t live it, you can’t even begin to understand it. So those of us who do have an experience with military service should be utilizing that and encouraging military personnel or military spouses to utilize the things that we know exist. Brands should be coming to content graders who understand that world and saying, listen, we need to reach these people because they deserve our support in more than just words.

Megan Porta: Ooh. I think you’ve said something really important there because. I feel like all of us, everyone listening, can relate to something that you just said, on some level. Whether it’s, being in a military family or having someone in the family with a disability or impairment or just being of a race that isn’t typically in this space or something. There’s something there. I can definitely relate to the exhausted parenting because I have a child with autism and Oh my gosh. That is something that I’m like, I have been there. I’m here. I get it. It’s exhausting and that is something I can speak to. So I love that you said that, just like finding that thing that you can relate to and then serving how you can benefit others in the same situation.

Marta Rivera Diaz: I was a mom of twins. 

Megan Porta: Oh gosh. That right there is. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I was a mom of twins, a caretaker to my mom, and a military wife, whose husband deployed multiple times and I had my own disability all at the same time. So I can speak to people, I can speak to moms of multiples on how to make life a little bit easier at mealtime, just like you can speak to moms of children with autism on how to make meal times more approachable after you’re completely pooped at the end of the day. You just can’t adult anymore. So we always need to do some self-reflection and say, when I was at my worst when I was at my lowest point, or thought I was at my lowest point, what was I doing in order to make it day to day? How can I create content that will reach somebody who is struggling to make it day to day at this moment? Because I believe that we all go through trials and tribulations, not for ourselves, but so that we can pay it forward to somebody else with our experience and with our knowledge.

Megan Porta: Absolutely. Oh, that’s so important to hear that again. Yes. We don’t go through it just selfishly for our own good, we do it so that we can help and serve others get through it better. So accessibility is a huge buzzword right now, just like making sure our images are accessible and our blog is accessible. Can you talk about that a little bit and how that relates to our conversation?

Marta Rivera Diaz: For me, it’s very important because multiple sclerosis, like my mom, went blind in one eye for two years. It’s a vicious disease, and it just does things to you that you just don’t expect. So for me, I always make light of things because if you would really stay in that space, you’d be miserable. You just cry all the time. So I always try to find something funny. I don’t try to find the silver lining because I’m not an optimist. I just try to find something funny in it. For me, when it comes to accessibility, I want people to know how dope this picture is that I just took. I need you to see through my words, what an awesome picture is on the screen. And I’m gonna describe it for you so that you can get the same enjoyment that I get out of looking at this picture I took, right? If you think about it from that perspective, instead of the perspective like, ugh, I gotta go and do this just to be compliant. One, it’s horribly insensitive because as someone who has been in a wheelchair multiple times in my life, I would give anything to not have to use a wheelchair, right? You have those people that say, oh, you’re lucky because you get to use the handicap park parking spot. Oh, I would give anything not to have to use that parking spot. 

Megan Porta: You’re kidding me.

Marta Rivera Diaz: I’m telling you, the things people come out of their face with, are crazy. 

Megan Porta: I would never think that, that’s a horrible thing to say. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: So I’m telling you, some people say the wildest things to me. So it’s the same concept when we’re writing content, right? How much would this person who you are writing this alt tag or this alt text, and how much would they give to be able to see that for themselves? If you look at it from that perspective, instead of, Ugh, this is another thing I gotta do, I think you’d put more into it and I think it would become a lot more fulfilling to do. It’s the same thing with writing content that is, again, approachable to people who have other abilities or impairments. It’s so important to be a good person, right? Be somebody that acknowledges the fact that I can walk, I can use my hands, I have a vision, I have hearing, I can swallow. How can I be a better person to those who can’t? How can I alter my recipes? How can I give suggestions? Because I do this all the time. How can I give suggestions to my readers so that they can alter it for their situation? Do you know what I mean? I tell people all the time, Hey, if you have dexterity issues because of arthritis or because you just have dexterity issues, this is how you can use this pack to accomplish the same thing.

Megan Porta: This is so powerful. You said this a little bit ago, just being a good person and just seeing that if you have the use of all your faculties, you are blessed immensely. Trying to pass that on to others who do not in such a little way. I love your filling out your alt text on images, and how you try to make it fun.

Marta Rivera Diaz: Yeah, listen, you took that picture. You took that picture, and I bet that picture looks good. And I know people wanna see that picture, so I’m gonna describe the hell outta that picture. Okay? You need to see this for yourself, right? It makes you feel so much better. It makes you feel so much better because you’ve just given someone the gift of a bite. How much of a blessing is that? That I just gave you the gift of being able to see, and it could be something as mundane to us as a pot on a stove. But again, how much would that person give to just be able to see that for themselves? Something that we need to remember.

Megan Porta: Definitely never gonna look at alt text the same again. It does become a checklist item that, oh, I have to do this. I’m going to check this off the list. But to think of it from that perspective gives me a whole new vantage point. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Yeah. Also captions on videos. My husband suffers from tinnitus. There are and this is a trigger word. Suicide is a trigger word. There are much military personnel who suffer from tinnitus every single day of their lives. If you don’t know what tinnitus is, it’s just a constant ringing in your ear that doesn’t go away. It’s so infuriating, so painful, and so just miserable for them that it’s just, it just really deteriorates their life and having, if you’re doing reels or you’re doing video, I am the caption queen. Okay. I’ll include chuckles, I’ll include heh, heh’s, whatever. Because I want them to, if they can’t hear, I want them to be able to know, I want them to be a part of the crew. I don’t want anybody to ever feel like they’re not welcome in my space. So you’re invited to my party. Come and have fun. I want you to be able to see what we are seeing. I want you to be able to hear what we are hearing. Shoot. If I could create touch, I want you to be able to touch what we’re touching. I just want everybody to feel like they belong.

Megan Porta: Everyone has a seat at our table because we are all food creators and we all appreciate the concept of bringing people to the table. So do what you can to be inclusive and make everybody feel invited and welcomed. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Absolutely. 

Megan Porta: Oh, this is so important. I feel like this is long overdue here on Eat Blog Talk. I really appreciate this whole conversation. Marta, thank you so much for bringing this to the table. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Of course. 

Megan Porta: Is there anything we’ve forgotten that you wanna be sure to mention before we start saying goodbye?

Marta Rivera Diaz: For me, it’s just being an ally to all people. If you are among the privileged, and I say that, just somebody who doesn’t have to wake up every day wondering about the color of your skin, if it’s gonna be something that’s gonna be a hindrance to you, or walking up a flight of stairs or getting out of the door or hearing somebody. If you are a person of privilege, to be a true ally means to again, invite everybody to your space and make everybody feel welcome. Do not make anybody feel as though they’re bothering you because they chose to be a part of your community.

Megan Porta: Oh gosh. That was amazing. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for your time today. It was a pleasure. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: It was. I loved dining with you. This was awesome. 

Megan Porta: To end, I like to ask my guests if they have additional words of inspiration or maybe a favorite quote to share with my listeners. Do you have anything with that?

Marta Rivera Diaz: So I’m not very eloquent as far quotes are concerned, but I did learn a quote. I am one of the founding members of Eat the Culture, which is a black food content creator collective, and we are doing our Black History Month virtual potluck this month because it’s Black History Month. The proverb is an African proverb that says, once you carry your own water, you will remember every drop. To me, that is so deep and so powerful, as most Proverbs are. So just remember your journey, remembering the journey of those that came before you, is of great significance and importance, and we should always remember it. 

Megan Porta: Oh, beautiful. Thank you for sharing that so much. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Marta, so if anyone wants to go look at those, you can check them out at Love the name of your blog. 

Marta Rivera Diaz: Thank you. 

Megan Porta: It’s so great. So everyone goes check out Marta’s blog, it’s Where else can we find it? 

Marta Rivera Diaz: I am on Instagram and Facebook as Sense and Edibility and I’m on Pinterest. What’s the other – Twitter as Edible Sense. I also have a YouTube channel that is Sense and Edibility.

Megan Porta: Great. Thanks again so much for this conversation today and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.

Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to head to to join our free discussion forum and connect with and learn from like-minded peers. I will see you next time.

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